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Gov. Cooper Issues Emergency Orders in Advance of Storm to Help Farmers

Tropical Storm Florence Forecast to Strengthen, Approach East Coast

With Tropical Storm Florence forecast to strengthen as it heads toward the East Coast, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency and waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly.

“While it’s still too early to know the storm’s path, we know we have to be prepared,” Gov. Cooper said. “During harvest, time is of the essence. Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”

To activate the transportation waiver, Gov. Cooper also signed Executive Order No. 51,declaring a State of Emergency for the State of North Carolina on Friday.

Restrictions Lifted to Help Farmers Harvest Crops More Quickly
Today, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 52, temporarily waiving the cap on maximum hours of service restrictions for trucks and heavy vehicles traveling in and through North Carolina and size and weight restrictions for trucks carrying crops and livestock.

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The executive order will help gather and move crops in and through the state more easily and quickly in response to problems that could be caused by Tropical Storm Florence in North Carolina and along the East Coast.

Earlier today, Gov. Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal counterparts to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence. He also urged North Carolinians to take steps to prepare their families.

NC Emergency Management shared the following tips for preparing for a possible tropical storm or hurricane:

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Know the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.
  • Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listen every hour as a storm nears.
  • Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
  • If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.

Additional safety tips can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or online at

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FOX News reports that in an 11 a.m. ET Saturday update, the National Hurricane Center [NHC] placed the storm southeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was moving west at 7 mph.

The NHC said the center of Florence will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday. The NHC said Florence was expected to become a major hurricane by Tuesday.

Swells generated by Florence could cause dangerous rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal Delaware and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

Meanwhile, a new tropical storm, “Helene,” has formed in the eastern Atlantic off the western coast of Africa. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday morning that Helene was located about 270 miles east of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. The storm’s maximum sustained winds were 45 mph and it was moving west at 13 mph.

“Since we are near the peak of hurricane season, this is a good time for everyone who lives in a hurricane-prone area to ensure they have their hurricane plan in place,” hurricane specialist David Zelinsky wrote in a forecast advisory.




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